Full Sail University Reviews
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I am currently an online student at Full Sail, finishing my 7th month. Let me start off by saying that my opinion is bias, I am reviewing strictly off of my own experiences so far, yours can be different. When my friend originally showed me this College, I was extremely excited to start ASAP.. environment creation was my passion and I had been working on traditional art by myself. Still I waited for a year and reviewed the college and gained as much information as I could before applying because this school isn't cheap. After starting the program personal issues led to me working full time and doing this accelerated program. As we started to get into the actual modeling process the work load became heavier and heavier which I expected. What I didn't expect was to receive minimal help from any instructor and learn solely off of YouTube videos and how well I can search on Google. Literally, the lessons for the classes are YouTube videos and the closest you can get to a live instructor is a lecture which usually isn't even your teacher. I didn't have time to join any lectures because of my busy work day so I was left to emailing my teachers for advice. On multiple occasions I waited for feedback that usually came after the assignment was due, and this led to my grades steadily getting worse and worse because each class assumes that you 100% grasp everything from the previous class. I was sick and tired of this same outcome over and over, so I instead asked for help from my classmates who did give me their advice and were very helpful. They provide a website called concept share where your classmates can look at your work and tell you what they think (it is a requirement). Multiple times did I hear that my scene looked wonderful and all was going well just to find out that things were not well in the eyes of my instructor. Receiving professional assistance is very difficult for me right now and my hopes and dreams seemed to be crushed after every time I submit my work. Don't get me wrong I spend an extremely high amount of my time left available to me on my school work with much dismay. I will continue the program and there is more to say but that is the general experience I have had so far.
Full Sail IS NOT worth 80,000+ dollars, they shortened valuable class hours that used to be extremely helpful and over time have taken away the more challenging assignments that they had in the past. When you go on their website they claim that they give students all of this "creative freedom" and I don't know about other degrees but in Game Art it's NOT TRUE. I have yet to feel like I had creative freedom but in the first 3 months of attending Full Sail. And then after that I don't remember being able to put any true creative flare on ANY project after that. There's always bounds, and 99% of the time if it's not done the way the teacher wants it you fail or get a bad grade. Also as you progress you get a lot of teachers who don't seem as passionate as they are in the first few months, so those months can really get you down. The website is full of lies, from the photos they use on the Game Art page depicting students playing games, in a colorful classroom with posters on the wall, writing on dry erase boards, sharing ideas. Making awesome concepts all the time, working on awesome projects. THAT IS NOT GAME ART. And the best student work which they post on the tumblr blog and on their website all comes from people who 100% dedicate their free time to working on creative pursuits outside of school. (which you should be doing, but 80% of people in Game Art don't) If you really want to know how it is, first off if you're attending campus you have to make sure you're on time, it's such an easy way to fail a class and have to pay big money to retake. (and also makes you seem irresponsible) When you get to class it's about 1 hour and 30 minutes worth of teaching now, (rarely a full 2) In that time period the teacher can't do follow along activities like they used to, and you can't watch them work in a program thoroughly, all you really get are power points, and are told to watch the videos online. (which makes you feel like you should have been an online student instead) After that you have lab, where normally music is played that you may find very distracting, and you have people talking loudly, or chugging up the internet by being off task and playing video games when you may need it to watch that video online you were instructed to watch. And lab is mandatory, so you feel like a little kid, having someone (semi) watch over you making sure you're doing your work in an environment that isn't favorable (unless you're super lucky and your graduating class is highly mature, and your lab instructor isn't a social butterfly) So now you get home and you felt like you wasted 6 hours of your day because the lecture aspect is a powerpoint available for download online, and lab is just you being treated like a elementary school kid. On top of that, they don't care about you and you're problems or what life may throw at students-which is not a surprise because they're just money hungry. And If you're struggling I hope you have a nice advisor because the one I have is aggressive, condescending towards me, and not very helpful. Don't fall for the speech on the Behind the Scenes tour from the Dean. I've been on that tour 5 times, everything from beginning to end is 100% rehearsed, every little joke, "mistake", and "heartfelt" moment. And they take you in a circle around the campus through all of these cool buildings which you won't be in if you're Game Art, because the nicest buildings all belong to recording arts and film kids. You might leave the tour feeling like, yeah the Dean is awesome he get's it! I wanna go here, this school is so different and amazing. The Dean may be a nice guy, but the school is really just after your money, and will of course leach off of your fame if you make it. You don't even get physical copies of books anymore just it's subscription based online books. Almost everything is subscription based, and the model of Wacom that they give you is notorious for the charge port breaking midway through your time on campus. I can't figure out what's worth 80,000 anymore. Don't be a sucker, see past the launch box and the promises of being "different." This school isn't unique it's like any other money hungry college, although I do feel a real university would be 100x's better than Full Sail because at least they would treat you like an adult not a child. And if you honestly want to go here for Game Art/Computer Animation, take online. In the end you really don't need to waste so much money for this, if you're dedicated and work and learn at home, buy gnomon tutorials and learn from there, watch tutorials from famous modelers/sculptors online, etc.... you can make it. Be dedicated, live and breathe the CG lifestyle. You DON'T need to put yourself in an 80,000 hole if this is what you really want to do. Just be dedicated and be willing to reach out to people in the industry. (go to things like GDC to network) I really hope this review is helpful to some of you out there.
Sail I am a success story. I attended Full Sail online. I had a great cohort and my instructors were always on point. I am still using the resources we worked on during my year of study. My experience was focused, usefully and very informative. Real world education is what I am still experiencing. I teach students based on technology and current media opportunities. This is because Full Sail instructors guided me to my comfort in improvising and adjusting to the current needs of my students. Smartphones, Promethean Boards, and connections to music drive my lessons in core subjects that connect to music.
A complete waste of time. I could have networked in popular film environments and landed a job. Saving me 80k in debt. Egotistical teachers and horrible learning techniques. Met nice people that's all that was interesting about that place. I wouldn't advise anyone to go here. When I was looking at colleges I thought that the bad reviews weren't a deal breaker but I was wrong.
Full Sail is not worth it, it will give you a taste on everything but after graduating you will seat in front of a computer incapable of doing anything and now with a debt you will never pay back. You just chained yourself to an anchor that will keep you at the button of the sea. I graduated in 1998, I am 41 years old now and I know what I am talking about. I had 2 others degrees that saved my butt. Back then the Full Sail degree was $21K, it was payable and that is actually what should cost today at the most. You know 3D but not good enough to make an actual animation for a client in the timeframes needed, you know editing but incapable do do a promo or an infomercial. You will be so clumsy because all you did was just tutorials at Full Sail. Imagine that you got your drivers license and now you have to do Daytona 500. That is the real world experience that you paid for and you will leave with that expectation, the reality is that you barely will know the type of gas you will put in your car. Full Sail is a "for profit organization", it means it is a business to make money! they are like car salesman, they will lie to you to get your money. They have all that fancy equipment for you to come in. Full Sail is like going to Disney, awesome but it is just a fantasy. Is like going to an strip club, pretty girls but they are not your girlfriends, they just want your money. I am 41 years old, graduated from Full Sail when I was 25, the most expensive and useless degree. Take a serious program in a serious university, in a real film school. Full Sail was fun, Disney too and strip clubs too. A place where you will leave as you entered but with less money. And let me tell you... you will never are going to pay for that degree. Today I make $8K a month steady, most of the people I know from Full Sail make $4K a month after 10-15 years graduated. Try to buy a house, pay that debt. It is a fraud.
Horrible, horrible experience. An older student, with multiple degrees in areas of other studies. I'm quite experienced in the school process, along with both of my parents were teachers. I know it takes a lot of hard work, and I really put my blood, sweat and tears into this program. I live in Los Angeles, right in the heart of the industry, but I did the online program that FS offered in hopes that I would be working during that time. Many instructors do not really care about you unless you are a prodigy, those they guide as they know it requires little to no attention nor effort and in the end they can toot their own horns of the success of someone that could have just learned off of Youtube. However, for the true students with hungry minds and willing spirits, you will be crushed. That's not saying that there aren't a lot of lazy folks, not willing to put in the effort that this art takes, however, I'm speaking from experience. I put in 16 hours a day on my class projects, with a passion to learn as much as I could. Asking questions, with little to no answers from those there were getting paid to do just that, answer questions and guide. I graduated with honors, class salutatorian however, no reel. They pushed me through, why? Because they are a paper-mill, nationally un-accredited. For those that don't understand that, it means your credits are trash to other real universities. Don't be led in by false claims. Local accreditation doesn't mean squat. You will not be employable if you weren't a prodigy. Go to a real university that actually cares more for you than just your checkbook. Gnomon is highly expensive, however, I've seen their classes first hand, and they actually instruct and guide ALL their students. It's a rough world out there already, we don't need to be subjecting bright, talented artists to lack luster learning. Invest in Digital Tutors, watch youtube videos. Those are all great, but when you need the guidance to establish a firm foundation of education you have to find a real school willing to give you that foundation. Effort doesn't always equal success. Pushing a stone up a hill eternally, is always going to give the same results. You can keep doing what you're doing and without proper instruction, you will not succeed. I would think folks would want the best education possible. That is the fact, FS does not provide that. 98% of my class did not get jobs. Some, I can understand why, while others, I cant speak for them, but I can say, I am unemployable, sadly, as my skills have way too many holes in them. Unanswered questions, poor instruction, etc. I wish everyone luck if they do attend. For those that succeeded, kudos to you. Just don't belittle those that really did give it their all and received nothing in return.
I have read almost all the comments about Full Sail good and bad. My personal experience with Full Sail was great! I attended school in 2011 and became ill and was not able to attend anymore. Yes that left me with a balance however in 2015 they offered me the opportunity to come back and clear my balance by attending a pilot class. I learned so much and the teacher were always quick to respond. I ended up sick and in the hospital and I communicated with my teacher as well as my advisor what was going on and they offered me the chance to take the class at a later date. I didn't take them up on the offer because I was determine to finish the course and not let my health get in the way any longer. I finished my classes in December of 2015 and graduated in 2016 with a 3.31 gpa. Everyone is right it's all about what you put into it. I was able to launch a business and a non profit that is doing very well at the moment. I am returning in May 2016 for Internet marketing. I look forward to meeting new people and networking my butt off. This school was created to help you network. I still talk with my classmates and some of them actually became my client. Full Sail is what you make it. Work hard and you will get great results, slack off and you will be a person sitting here making bad comments about a school when it was you that failed not the school!
If you want to be taught by Lynda.com and Professor Google then this is the school for you. Most of the teacher do not have one lecture not one thing to contribute. This is such a rip off had I know I would have gone to another school. I personally called the director to ensure this was not going to be a Professor Google school but it is... Don't do it for the Business Intelligence Program you get no intelligence from it.
This review is to give you a real world perspective on what life is like once you finish with Full Sail University. To start the professors and support team around them are great and are really there to help you as much as possible. They only have you for a month and your one of 30-60+ students. I learned a lot from them staying after class and asking as much questions as I could. The biggest thing that I would like to warn perspective students who are thinking of going here would be to really stop and look at what job you want and go onto Indeed or LinkedIn an see where other people went to school if that information is available. A lot of the requirements of jobs will say "4 year school" which Full Sail is not. Before I attended Full Sail I overheard one of it's staff at a opening ceremony saying they think of themselves as the Harvard of MultiMedia Schools. I can assure they are not. Furthermore I would like to add in how hard it will be to obtain a job once you get out. To pay bills and the enormous student debt I now carry from Full Sail I took a job as a Technical recruiter. This job would have calling on job seekers for some of Orlando's best companies to work for. When I had to chance to speak with the hiring managers of EA Sports, Disney, NBC and other larger companies I asked them what they thought of Full Sail and it's graduates without disclosing I was a graduate of that school. They had told me that many of their positions that they hire for at an entry level positions they will not even look a Full Sail resume due to lack of skills and education the school puts into their students. Not to say that the teachers and professors aren't doing their job, but more so teaching programs that aren't used in near by companies students might work for someday. To add to this, they do hire right out of school students from University of Central Florid (UCF) which will be A LOT CHEAPER to attend then Full Sail and is right down the street. I still keep in good contact with a lot of my former friends who I met at Full Sail and the trend I have noticed the most is that 75% of them have posted they have either enrolled in a better and more well known school like Penn State, LSU, UCF, NYU among others that employers know and want to hire from. The fact is Full Sail just isn't that well known and because it accepts anyone with a heat beat and will graduate anyone who just barely pays attention, the few that do know Full Sail have mixed reviews and more often then not lean on the negative side. So if you're reading this and you have just finished high school or are thinking of going back to finish school just know that the debt you will carry from this school will eat up all of your paycheck once you finish. If you think you will delay your payments don't, they will only grow and grow. If there is any wisdom I can share is find another school that is more affordable and well known. I worked my butt off while I was there completing 3 internships for COX Radio, an internet marketing start up and a recording studio to gain experience. I worked in the media center and was a teachers assistant to save on expenses so my debt would be lower and I still have a enormous amount of debt and I'm now looking into going back to an accredited school for a degree that is employable. Thank you and best of luck in your future!
I agree with the comments that what you put in, you get back, and some teachers will help you if they see you are putting in the work. But I have to say I did some online classes and the online experience is really not worth it! I think FS can be good on campus, depending on what degree you are and what you want from it. Having attended a lot of classes with students from the Recording Arts degree, I discover that you learn more about recording, mic settings, signal chain than actually mixing. They have 2 classes on mixing, and a lot of other classes on soldering, mic techniques, recording consoles, audio post, etc. I felt some teacher didn't really care if you were motivated or not and only wanted to be done with their day, and some questions were left ignored. I feel the worst though, is the atmosphere some degree have. Most of Recording Arts students don't really care about their classes, most of my classmates spent their entire day watching netflix, facebook or basketball matches! Most of the students in RA are just here to make beats and don't really care about most classes, and that can make your classroom experience suck! You could say that I shouldn't pay attention to those students, but it's a fact that when teachers see 99% of students not caring, they stop to care after a while. In my degree, Music Production, the first 6 months were basic classes like Math, Physics, English, a little bit of psychology and some introduction to the jobs in the audio industry. Then it was half music theory, half composition/mastering of the tools in Logic, such as quantizing, sampling, learning how to different music styles, orchestration with sample libraries, arrangement, and so on. All the teachers from our degree give us feedback on our assignments or compositions, but when you finish the class, most of the teachers will rarely see you in person, but a feedback on email is always possible. I still have months to go to finish my degree, so I can't speak about career development yet. I would say, for 3d art/video game it is a very good school, for Recording Arts you're better working as a teaboy in a studio, I won't cost you anything and you'll learn quicker and earn money quicker that way. Although I have some friends who graduated and after a few months already were doing good freelancing, it depends if you've already built a strong network. For networking, I must say there's some pretty interesting opportunities sometimes, but most of the students I've connected with are really not on top of their game or show any real professional drive. Music production can be helpful to learn music theory and how to use LogicX and some production techniques. We only spent 3 classes in the studio so far, so most is done in the box. Some teacher are really good teachers and have a lot of work experience in the music industry, so it can be a good learning experience. Be warned that the less you know about mixing techniques and DAWs, the more difficult it will be for you to retain all the information you'll get at school, because the classes are intense and crammed into 1 month if you don't know anything about mixing, you'll only get 50% of the info, it needs practice to retain most of the info we learn in class. We learn a lot and very fast!